French Odyssey Part 7 – Trees & Wires   Leave a comment

One of our more unusual days out was to the Aoubre tree adventure park in the Var countryside. Francis and Laura had told us that their grandchildren had been there and they had a whale of a time so they kindly rang up and booked us in for a half a day. I’ve always wanted to take the kids on one of these courses but the main one in the UK, GoApe, don’t have a course for small kids so it rules L out. These types of places are everywhere in France and seem to cater for all ages.

It’s a nicely laid out place with a picnic area, farm animal enclosures and play areas to keep the kids amused while you wait for your slot (you get 3 hours but we stayed on longer and no-one seemed to mind). Most of the instructors spoke great english – except ours. After kitting you out with harness, and gloves, they take you on a very short “training course” about 2 feet off the ground. I’ve done this tree-climbing thing before but Jane and the kids hadn’t so it was quite a job making sure I understood the way it works here and also trying to translate (badly) and pass on the instructions to the rest of the family.

You then get started on the real courses of which there are 5 of varying difficulty. D took a while to get used to clipping the Karabiners but once he did he loved it and had no real problems with any of the obstacles.

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D zipping along

L is natural gymnast and was a natural monkey.

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L does the Tyrolean

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In her element

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Lovin' it

If you’ve never done one of these things you basically clamber about in the trees, sliding down zip wires, balancing on wires, sliding along on a Tyrolean and swinging Tarzan-style from tree to tree.

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Me Tarzan, You Jane

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For big kids too

It’s great fun for adults and kids and providing you follow the instructions, totally safe (although I did manage a nasty blood blister on my arm).

The courses get harder and higher in the trees as you progress. Alas L wasn’t able to go on the last two courses as she wasn’t tall enough which caused some upset but she found a climbing net that she seemed to enjoy while me and D went on the next course.

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Caught in the net

We never had time to finish the last course as we were dead beat. Climbing around in the trees in 37 degree C heat takes it out of you. I spent the last half hour watching Jane on the course, an interesting sight as she tends to let go with colourful metaphors while she’s doing it and had one comical episode where she “fell” off one of the tree swings (no problem as you just slide along the safety wire) accompanied by panic-sounding noises.

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Showing off now

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After the "fall"

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Got the hang of it now

I finished off with a trip down the final and very long zip wire from way up in the trees.

All in all we had a great laugh and really enjoyable afternoon – one of the highlights of the holiday. It would have been great if I could have taken more photos and videos but between making sure I didn’t fall off and that Jane and the kids were still ok there wasn’t much time. Hope you enjoy the little collection below. Choosing the music for this one was easy – my favourite cartoon film and totally appropriate for action I hope you agree.

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Posted October 15, 2011 by surfnslide in Family Trips, France, Provence

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